Sure, when you spend the majority of your time in a place that has the ability to make your eyeballs bleed from staring at spreadsheets all day, it can be exciting when the office hottie strolls past your cubicle in their business casual best and flashes you a smile. And although things worked out for Jim and Pam on The Office, dating someone you work with doesn’t always have such a happy ending—in fact, engaging in such behavior can be downright dangerous. So before you “dip your pen in the company ink” and cross all boundaries of a professional relationship with a coworker, be sure to check out why you may want to rethink the idea:
You could be breaking company policy. Most likely the reason you work is to make money—so if you lost your job due to something like dating a coworker, you could wind up moving into a cardboard box underneath a bridge. So ask yourself: is it really worth it? Many companies have strict rules in place that prohibit romantic relationships between superiors and subordinates—and there are some that forbid dating in the office altogether. If dating a coworker is something that you are going to pursue despite all the cons outlined for you in this list, then make sure you at least know and understand the company’s policy prior to mixing work with pleasure.
Work can’t be left at the office. When you spend upwards of 40 hours a week at work, the time you spend away from it should be a break focused on other parts of your life. And whenever you become romantically involved with a coworker, no matter how hard both of you may try it can be a struggle to avoid getting caught up in work-related conversations outside of the office; thus blurring the lines separating your personal life from your professional one. Talking about that big presentation, the jerk of a supervisor you share, or even about the lack of medium sized paper clips in the supply closet doesn’t really make for the best romantic dinner conversation when you are trying to relax and enjoy your significant other.
Tension can arise between you and others at work. When you dabble in an office romance, there is the risk of it affecting your relationships with others you work with. If one person involved in the office fling is someone who has power over things like schedules or budgeting, even if there isn’t special treatment given, other people in the office will believe that there is; this can in turn make effectively working and collaborating with other coworkers extremely difficult.
Your boss may worry about your performance on the job. Sure, you may check all couple-y behavior at the door when you get to work each day, but still your boss may have their concerns about the dating life that you have combined with office life. Questions may come up, like: Will your relationship affect your performance negatively? Will you and your office boyfriend or girlfriend be able to work well together on projects and uphold a professional image at all times? Will you and your partner make other coworkers uncomfortable? If you breakup, will the split create tension in the office?
The break-up could be extra-difficult. It’s no secret that break-ups are miserable in the first place…and the thought of possibly running into your ex is always a frightening possibility that is enough to send you over the edge. So imagine how much worse it would be to go through a devastating break-up and then being forced see the loser every single day when you go into work. This makes it all the more difficult to get over the person…not to mention how difficult it will be to hide your puffy eyes or the urge to slip something poisonous into their coffee (kidding...sort of).
Mark Weikel is a guest post author who shares with us the reasons why you might want to avoid dating a coworker. In addition, Mark also contributes articles to Gay Dating Sites where he focuses on educating readers about safe methods of online dating.